Homemade paper straws, why not?
Paper straws come in all sorts of colors and are a great way to add a unique touch to any event. They can get expensive, however, and sometimes you just can't find the exact color or pattern that you need. Fortunately, it's possible to make paper straws at home. All you need to get started are dowels, scrapbooking paper, some glue, and paraffin wax.
1. Cut patterned scrapbooking paper into 1 1⁄2 in (3.8 cm) wide strips. Find some 12 by 12 in (30 by 30 cm) scrapbooking paper in a pattern that you like, then use a paper slicer or paper guillotine to cut it into 1 1⁄2 in (3.8 cm) wide strips. How many strips you cut is up to you. Each strip will make 1 straw.
Don't use scrapbooking cardstock; it's too stiff and heavy to hold curls, which is vital to making straws.You can also use printer paper for plain white straws.
Look for standard, patterned scrapbooking paper. It's a medium-weight, 60 to 65 lb (27 to 29 kg) paper.
2. Apply glue to the back of a strip, 1⁄4 inch (0.64 cm) from a long edge. Flip a strip over so that the back is visible. Next, draw a line of liquid glue along 1 of the long edges. Rather than having the glue touch the edge, however, apply it 1⁄4 inch (0.64 cm) from the edge. The glue should still touch the narrow edges of the strip, however.
In most cases, the back of the paper will be white. If you're using double-sided paper, work on the side that you don't want to be visible.
Any type of liquid glue will work as long as it says “non-toxic” on the bottle. Make sure that you make the line as thin as possible.
3. Set a 1⁄4 in (0.64 cm) thick dowel at a 45-degree angle at 1 end of the strip. One end of the dowel should be sticking out just part the corner that has the glue on it. The rest of the dowel should be facing the un-glued edge of the paper.
Choose a dowel that is about 12 to 14 inches (30 to 36 cm) long. This will be much easier to work with than a 1 yd (0.91 m) long dowel.
If you can't find a dowel that short, cut a longer one down with a hand saw or heavy-duty gardening shears.
4. Roll the paper around the dowel, overlapping it with each wrap. Make sure that you overlap the paper enough so that the glued edge touches paper—not wood. A little over 1⁄4 inch (0.64 cm) would be good. This is sort of like making a candy cane, except that you aren't leaving any gaps between the "stripes."
Keep the paper snug so that it holds its shape, but don't roll it too tightly, or it will be difficult to remove.
If the end of the paper doesn't stay down, secure it with a drop of glue.
5. Slide the paper off the dowel and allow it to dry overnight. The paper should stick together on its own, even after you slide it off the dowel. If you're worried about it coming unrolled, however, wrap painter's tape around each end before you pull the paper off.
Painter's tape is a great choice because it's easy to remove and doesn't leave residue.
Once you have removed the first straw, you can use the dowel to create more.
6.Trim the ends of the straws to make them flat. Because of how you rolled the paper, the ends of the straws will be pointy. This won't be very comfortable or convenient when it comes to drinking from the straws, so use a pair of scissors to snip the points off.
If you made more than 1 straw, measure the straws against each other to ensure that they're all the same length.
How short you cut your straw is up to you. Make sure that both ends are flat and not angled, however.
The ends of the straw may get dented as you cut them. Use a chopstick, knitting needle, or other tapered tool to push them back into shape.